THQ's Red Faction: Battlegrounds, a downloadable game available on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace and PlayStation Network Store, has recently been expanded upon with two additional packs of downloadable content. The two packs contain additional content for Battlegrounds, which is a vehicle based combat game. The story coincides with that of Armageddon, which released in June 2011. The two packs are named 'Armageddon' and 'Origins', and are detailed below:
The Armageddon pack takes place during the story of the game its name is derived from, around the point where Darius Mason is liberating the underground settlements of Mars from the cult headed by Adam Hale, and consists of weaponry and technology from Red Faction: Armageddon. It contains four new training missions; two new arenas for combat, and four new training missions. The pack adds an additional power-up that can be utilized to gain an edge over enemies; 'Quad Damage'. As the name suggests, this power-up multiplies the damage of any weapon by four, making anything potentially devastating when used proficiently. The additional vehicles are as follows:
- EDF Crusader Tank: The Crusader is outfitted with three plasma mini-turrets, providing large amounts of firepower, though its hulking presence will invariably attract other players to target the vehicle in turn.
- LAV: The LAV is armed with a Singularity Cannon, which is a weapon that appears in Red Faction: Armageddon. The cannon creates a black hole, which other objects are drawn towards, and finally destroyed within.
- LEO EXO Suit: The LEO EXO is a large suit, armed with both a heavy machine gun and an energy missile battery.
- Marauder Buggy: The Marauder Buggy is a lightweight buggy armed with a grenade launcher, and based on the designs of the Marauders, who appeared as antagonists and later as allies during the course of 2009's Red Faction: Guerrilla.
Two of the vehicles contained within the Armageddon pack are nods towards Armageddon's predecessor, Guerrilla, and they come in the form of the EDF Crusader and the Marauder Buggy. The EDF posed the primary threat to Mars during the story of Guerrilla, and their weapons were of a nature that could barely be opposed by the Red Faction due to how advanced they were in comparison to their forms of defense. The two arenas are 'Magma Dock', and 'Ice Chamber', and should provide an adequate change of pace for those who have experienced all that Battlegrounds has to offer by way of maps. On top of this, the new Training Missions are as follows:
- The Furnace
- Red Ice
- Boiling Point
The second of the two packs is entitled Origins, and relates to the content of the film released about the series, entitled Red Faction: Origins. The film premiered on science-fiction channel SyFy, on June 4th, 2011. The film was surprisingly well received, and the pack celebrates the film content. Not only this, it adds a new game mode in the form of 'Race', where players focus upon leading the pack instead of shooting it up. As would be expected from a combat-based racing addition, it comes with a twist: if your vehicle is destroyed before completion of a lap, then you must repeat the entire lap. As with the Armageddon pack, it contains four new vehicles, which are outlined below:
- Marauder Chomper: The Chomper is based on Marauder technology, coming loaded with a rocket launcher.
- Marauder Stomper: The Stomper is also based upon the technology of the Marauders, though is loaded with a mounted shotgun turret. The two vehicles are likely derivative of each other due to their similarities in naming.
- APC: The APC is not armed, but it is well armored and fast. Players who prefer to simply escape the pack rather than fight back may choose to use the APC for this reason.
- Staff Car: The Staff Car is a vehicle occasionally used by the EDF during the events of Guerrilla, and boasts missile pods.
The additional arenas are made of the 'White Faction Base', and an area called 'Spill Site'. The training missions are named as follows:
- Run and Gun
- Blast from the Past
- The Coffin
- Riding Shotgun
Much like the first pack of content, it also includes a new power-up for fighting off attackers. This time, the power-up comes in the form of the 'Hammer', and increases ramming damage, which should help when slamming into other vehicles and potentially destroying them. The two packs retail for $2.99 each on the PlayStation Store, or 240 Microsoft Points on the Marketplace, and are available now.